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Industry Icon Award for Terry Loewen of Abbey Platinum Master Built

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Industry Icon Award

Selected internally by the BILD Central Alberta Board of Directors, the Industry Icon Award honours an individual that has uniquely impacted the industry and association through their time, dedication and efforts.

BILD Central Alberta is excited to announce this year’s Industry Icon Award recipient is Terry Loewen.

It was our great pleasure to recognize Terry Loewen with this year’s Industry Icon Award. Terry was presented with the award for having made a lasting and positive mark on the community and the Central Alberta housing industry for over 20 years.

Past Recipients

2018 – Gord Bontje

2019 – Phil Neufeld

Agriculture

While Europeans Vacation, Denmark Attacks Livestock Farmers With Cow Tax

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From Heartland Daily News

By Andrew Weiss

Economics aside, this policy will have no effect on global temperatures. Even if the entire European Union halted all emissions (including livestock) the global temperatures would be reduced by only 0.12 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, assuming the highest climate sensitivity to carbon.

As Europeans generate greenhouse gas emissions by driving or flying off on their long summer holidays, Denmark is trying to lower those emissions by taxing cow burps and flatulence to combat climate change.

The Danish government believes that taxing methane produced by animals will improve the lives of citizens by lowering global temperatures. Therefore, beginning in 2030, livestock farmers will be taxed $17 per ton of carbon dioxide-equivalent emitted by their livestock. That tax will increase to $43 by 2035.

The average cow emits the CO2 equivalent of about three tons per year in methane, so each cow will cost farmers $50 in 2030, reaching about $125 by 2035.

Other livestock such as sheep and pigs are also subject to the methane tax, but they emit less methane because of differences in the chemistry of their digestive systems.

But two professors—William A. van Wijngaarden of York University in Canada and William Happer of Princeton University—argue that restrictions on methane emissions are “not justified by facts.”

CO2 currently makes up about 420 ppm (parts per million), which is 0.042% of the atmosphere. Methane is a much lower 1.9 ppm, or about 0.0002% of the atmosphere.

Methane is increasing in the atmosphere at a rate of about 0.0076 ppm per year, while CO2 is increasing at a rate 300 times faster, or 2.3 ppm a year.

The methane molecule is about 30 times better at trapping heat than the carbon dioxide molecule. Therefore, methane contributes about one-tenth the warming of CO2.

Effect on the Economy

Denmark’s new animal tax will raise food prices. Prices for beef and milk will go up, percolating throughout the nation’s economy. Denmark’s economy contracted 1.8% last quarter and the inflation rate is 2.1%, but expect to see inflation increase with the new animal tax. The tax will disproportionately affect middle-income earners and the poor.

At the same time, farmers will see smaller profit margins. Some farmers will reduce their numbers of cows and shift to other animals or grain. Others might sell their farms and change occupations.

In America, the majority of beef farms are run by small operations. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 54% of farms with beef cattle had fewer than 20 cows. On such a farm, raising a cow costs about $900 per year.

A U.S. methane tax identical to Denmark’s would be the same as an additional 15% tax on cattle. This would be devastating to small ranchers who are already pinched by increased overhead costs.

The Danish policy taxes carbon at $43 per ton. This so-called social cost of carbon is priced even higher here in America, and is an easily manipulated price tag that the government puts on carbon emissions.

Last fall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed $190 per ton as the social cost of carbon to make its policies seem worth the regulatory burden. If taxed at this price level, a 20-cow operation would owe Uncle Sam an additional $11,000 per year.

Effect on Carbon Emissions

All 1.5 million cows in Denmark account for about 0.1% of the European Union’s annual 3.6 billion tons of greenhouse emissions.

The chart below compares greenhouse gas emissions by Danish cattle to emissions in all of Denmark and in the entire European Union.

When it comes to the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, CO2 emitted in Denmark is no different than CO2 emitted anywhere else in the world.

If Danish lawmakers are concerned about CO2-caused climate change, the cost of the tax policy needs to be weighed against the global effect on emissions.

In 2022, India emitted 189 million metric tons more than it did in 2021. This is more than four times the entire carbon footprint of Denmark.

Effect on Global Climate

Economics aside, this policy will have no effect on global temperatures. Even if the entire European Union halted all emissions (including livestock) the global temperatures would be reduced by only 0.12 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, assuming the highest climate sensitivity to carbon.

These numbers are calculated using The Heritage Foundation’s climate calculator, which uses a government climate model. (You can use the calculator for yourself here.)

From Denmark to California

Although such policies may seem unlikely to take hold in freedom-loving America, similarly intrusive regulations already have been implemented across multiple sectors. These regulations affect everything in the U.S. from large-scale power plants and the automotive industry to everyday household items such as gas stoves, water heaters, and lawn equipment.

In some states, including New York and California, building codes now prohibit gas hookups in many new construction projects, denying residents the right to decide for themselves what energy sources to use.

As of Jan. 1, it became illegal to buy gas-powered lawn equipment such as lawnmowers, leaf blowers, or chainsaws in California. This law will cost landscaping businesses over $1 billion and raise the price of landscaping services, causing some to lose their jobs and business closures.

It is time to stop perpetuating the fairy tale that taxing cow burps will reduce global temperatures. Such regulations only increase food costs and inflation in general, making poverty even worse.

Andrew Weiss is a research assistant for domestic policy at The Heritage Foundation.

Originally published by The Daily Signal. Republished with permission.

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Federal government’s emission-reduction plan will cost Canadian workers $6,700 annually by 2030—while failing to meet government’s emission-reduction target

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From the Fraser Institute

By Ross McKitrick

The federal government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will impose significant costs on Canadians—while also failing to meet the government’s own emission-reduction target, finds a new study published today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“The government’s plan will significantly hurt Canada’s economy and cost workers money and jobs,” said Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and author of The Economic Impact and GHG Effects of the Federal Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan through 2030.

The government wants to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. To meet this target, the government has enacted a series of policies including the federal carbon tax, clean fuel standards and various other GHG-related regulations such as energy efficiency requirements for buildings,
fertilizer restrictions on farms, and electric vehicle mandates.

The study finds that these combined policies will only reduce GHG emissions by an estimated 57 per cent of the government’s 2030 emission-reduction target.

And crucially, by 2030 these policies will:

• reduce Canada’s GDP by 6.2 per cent
• cost $6,700 per worker annually
• reduce employment in Canada by 164,000 jobs

“This poorly-designed plan, which will worsen the current downward trends in productivity and income, will reduce emissions but at a cost many times higher than the government’s estimated benefits,” McKitrick said.

  • The federal government has set a GHG emissions reduction target of at least 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, equivalent to 38.5% below 2022 levels.
  • This report examines proposed policies aimed at achieving these goals and evaluates their potential impact, aiming to address the gap left by the federal government’s lack of efforts in this matter.
  • The paper uses a peer-reviewed macroeconomic model to assess the federal government’s Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), including carbon pricing, Clean Fuel Regulations, and other regulatory measures such as EV mandates.
  • It is estimated that the ERP will reduce Canada’s GHG emissions by about 26.5% between 2019 and 2030, reaching approximately 57% of the government’s 2030 target, leaving a substantial gap.
  • The implementation of the ERP is expected to significantly dampen economic growth, with a projected 6.2% reduction in Canada’s economy (i.e., real GDP) compared to the base case by 2030.
  • Income per worker, adjusted for inflation, is forecasted to stagnate during the 2020s and decrease by 1.5% by 2030 compared to 2022 levels.
  • The ERP costs $6,700 per worker annually by 2030, which is more than five times the cost per worker compared to the carbon tax alone.
  • Overall, while the federal ERP will contribute to reducing GHG emissions, it falls short of meeting the 2026 or 2030 targets and imposes significant economic burdens on Canadian households. Additionally, due to the high marginal cost of many regulatory measures, the ERP plan is costlier than it needs to be for what it will accomplish.

Adobe PDF Read the Full Report

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